Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) meets with Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove in Canberra on March 15 (Photo: VNA)

Canberra (VNA) – Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove hailed the importance of the establishment of a strategic partnership between their countries at a meeting in Canberra on March 15.

PM Phuc expressed his delight that his official visit coincided with the 45th founding anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties. 

Governor-General Cosgrove said he is impressed with the breakthrough development of Vietnam’s economy in recent years, congratulating the country on its active integration and improving its role and stature in the region and the world, especially the successful organisation of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in 2017.

The two sides described the strategic partnership establishment as a breakthrough in bilateral relations, creating a new framework and opportunities for cooperation in the pillar fields. They affirmed the resolve to increase high-ranking visits and meetings and step up people-to-people exchange.

Cosgrove confirmed that he will pay an official visit to Vietnam in late May 2018 and consider this as a practical contribution to celebrations of the 45-year diplomatic relationship.

He underlined that people-to-people and cultural exchange and tourism cooperation provided a solid foundation for the strategic partnership today as well as in the future.

There are currently nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students in Australia, more than 60,000 others who used to study in Australia, and over 1,000 under the New Colombo Plan. Nearly 500,000 Australians visited the Southeast Asian nation in 2017. Those are vivid evidence of the two countries’ close-knit connections, he noted.

At the meeting, the two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in security, defence, economy-trade-investment, education, labour, and science-technology in line with the countries’ strategic partnership.

[Joint statement on establishment of Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership]

The Governor-General said the Vietnamese community with over 300,000 people in Australia are making important contributions to and increasingly affirming their role in the local socio-economic life, becoming a friendship bridge linking the two nations.

PM Phuc thanked and asked Australia to continue creating favourable conditions for these expats to integrate into the local society and do more for bilateral ties.

Discussing some regional and international issues of shared concern, PM Phuc highly valued the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit hosted for the first time by Australia in Sydney. Meanwhile, Governor-General Cosgrove reiterated his country’s stance of supporting the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea and the compliance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

After the meeting, Governor-General Cosgrove drove a buggy taking PM Phuc and his spouse to see kangaroos in the grounds of the Government House, a special act showing Australia’s respect for Vietnam.

Later on March 15, the two leaders and their spouses, along with Government officials of Vietnam and Australia, attended a banquet marking the 45th anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic relations.

In his speech, Governor-General Cosgrove said Australia is proud to have a friend like Vietnam and support Vietnam to develop and achieve impressive growth and development attainments. He voiced his belief that the two countries’ connectivity will continue to flourish in the future.

PM Phuc also expressed his belief in a bright future of bilateral relations, particularly when the strategic partnership is implemented in all aspects, for the sake of the two peoples and for a peaceful and prosperous Asian-Pacific region.-VNA